This impressive book brings together four essays, which along with an insightful introduction from Charles Rowley, provide a robust defence of the concept of classical liberalism in modern ‘civil’ society.
In the first essay, Douglas Rasmussen and Douglas Uyl discuss the basic approaches and principles of liberalism in the post-modern age and show how a moral philosophy can serve to support a political philosophy. They supply a clear, fundamental defence of liberalism in an era which has become sceptical of its doctrines. This is followed by Peter Ordeshook’s authoritative analysis of the foundations of democracy, in relation to the demise of communist ideology, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Paul Rubin then examines, from a libertarian perspective, the differing methods and degrees of success of adapting contract law in Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in the wake of political change. Finally, Mwangi S. Kimenyi provides an original study of highly centralized, unitary systems of government and the breakdown of civil society in Sub-Saharan Africa. He argues persuasively that institutional reform involving decentralization and federalism can better accommodate ethnic diversity in the area.
With contributions from some of the most eminent scholars in the field, Classical Liberalism and Civil Society provides a rigorous justification of classical liberal polity.